09/13/2005 12:00AM

Vega rides his 3,000th winner


Jockey Harry Vega gave himself an early birthday present Tuesday afternoon when he guided the 4-year-old filly Quies ($5.20) to victory in the eighth race at Philadelphia Park.

Vega, who will turn 40 on Sept. 21, collected his 3,000th career victory in the mile-and-70-yard allowance race on the turf. As icing on the cake, Vega also won the 10th race with the 3-year-old filly Irish Diva ($6.40).

A native of New Brunswick, N.J., Vega rode his first winner at Hazel Park in Michigan on Oct. 11, 1983. He rode in New York and New Jersey before becoming a regular in New England in the 1980's, enjoying his best year in 1989, when he rode 314 winners.

In 2000, Vega moved his tack to Delaware Park, where he finished second in the standings his first season and third in 2001. He is currently the leading rider at Philly Park with 141 wins.